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Lickety Split scores gutsy Group One triumph

Quality two-year-old filly Lickety Split refused to yield to a sustained challenge when narrowly taking out the Gr.1 Sistema Stakes (1200m) at Ellerslie on Sunday. The Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman-trained daughter of Turn Me Loose had scored impressively at the Auckland course on debut last month but was the most inexperienced runner in the seven-horse field. Lickety Split ($10.80) was sent out as the punter’s third-elect behind last-start Karaka Million 2YO (1200m) winner Dynastic ($1.50) ...

March 13, 2022

Turn Me Loose filly impresses with debut victory

A gritty victory by two-year-old filly Lickety Split at her first raceday start at Ellerslie has given her sire Turn Me Loose a timely boost ahead of the upcoming New Zealand Bloodstock National Yearling Sale at Karaka. The Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman-trained youngster followed up an impressive trial win at Ellerslie late last month with a similar performance on Saturday as she overhauled pacemaker Slipper Island in the final stages after the pair had gone head-to-head over the final 400m. T...

February 20, 2022

Variety the spice of Wentwood Grange draft

Wentwood Grange will head to Karaka next month with one of the more diverse drafts at New Zealand Bloodstock’s National Yearling Sales. The Cambridge farm will offer 34 yearlings in the Book One session by 27 different sires. Sean Hawkins, who part-owns the highly-respected family farm, established by his parents Des and Jan, with his brothers Dean and Leigh, said not standing a stallion of their own has given Wentwood Grange the freedom to select from a variety of stallions the length and bre...

February 16, 2022

Blessings answered for Thompson

In what looks to have proved a masterstroke by trainer John Thompson, the recently gelded With Your Blessing has returned in fine fashion to finally shed his maiden tag in the opening event at Randwick Kensington on Wednesday. Having been competitive at Group level in his debut preparation, finishing a narrow (0.8L) fourth in last year’s Pago Pago Stakes and fifth (4.8L) in the Schweppervescence before losing his way in his second campaign, the three-year-old resumed with a bang over the 1100m...

February 3, 2022

Miss Labasa remains unbeaten after Awapuni effort

Promising three-year-old Miss Labasa retained her unbeaten record with another impressive performance at Awapuni on Saturday.The Swiss Ace filly had won her first two races in a manner that indicated she could challenge in some of the plum early summer three-year-old features, however some niggling feet issues put paid to those ideas.Off the scene since mid-November, Miss Labasa resumed in the three-year-old 1400m contest against a line-up that included New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m) place-get...

January 30, 2022

The Chosen One sparkles in Thorndon Mile

A late nomination to contest the Group One feature at Trentham on Saturday paid dividends for the connections of quality performer The Chosen One as the Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman-trained runner scored a stunning victory in the Gr.1 Harcourts Thorndon Mile (1600m).Having his first start since running a gallant fifth in the Gr.1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) back in November, the six-year-old Savabeel entire looked well suited under the set weights and penalties conditions of the race, having to car...

January 29, 2022

Double for Wentwood graduates at Sha Tin

Wentwood Grange were represented by two winners at Sha Tin overnight.  The John Size-trained Running Glory was impressive when winning by three and a quarter-lengths in the Class 4 Tai Tan Handicap (1400m) at just his third race day start, with Joao Moreira onboard.  “He impressed me in the way that he won, he won with great authority by a big margin – which I didn’t think he was going to do,” Moreira said. “I thought he could win, but I didn’t think he would win in such an...

January 10, 2022

Dragon Storm primed for Bagot

Last start Listed Sandown Cup (3200m) winner Dragon Storm will be back in action at Flemington this weekend when he contests the Listed Bagot Handicap (2800m) on New Year’s Day. Last year’s Gr.3 New Zealand Cup (3200m) winner had been out of form leading into his Sandown Cup triumph and trainer Michael Moroney view’s the New Year’s Day feature as another winnable target. “He seems to have trained on well. I know he has had time between runs but he is a natural stayer and he is coming b...

December 28, 2021

Dragon Storm to chase further features

Fresh from success in the Listed Sandown Cup (3200m) at Caulfield last weekend, Flemington trainer Mike Moroney is mulling over options for Wentwood Grange graduate Dragon Storm. Gr.3 New Zealand Cup (3200m) winner Dragon Storm had been disappointing in his three runs leading into his fast-finishing victory in the Sandown Cup and while there had been thoughts of sending Dragon Storm back to New Zealand, those plans are now on ice. “It is more than likely we will have a tilt at the Bagot Handic...

November 30, 2021

Dragon Storm swoops to land Sandown Cup

Kiwi stayer Dragon Storm came from last to land the Listed Sandown Cup (3200m) at the Caulfield meeting on Saturday under a well-timed Blaike McDougall ride.  The seven-year-old son of Shocking had won last season’s Gr.3 New Zealand Cup for Chris Gibbs and transferred to Mike Moroney’s Flemington stable after an unplaced effort in the Gr.3 Wellington Cup (3200m).  In a slowly run affair, Dragon Storm got cover and was rated well by McDougall, coming widest to ge...

November 27, 2021

Hoard The Bourbon on Guineas path

Talented three-year-old Hoard The Bourbon was one of the eye-catching runners in last Saturday’s Gr.2 Hawke’s Bay Guineas (1400m) and trainer Stephen Marsh is keen to push on towards the Gr.1 Al Basti Equiworld Dubai New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m) at Riccarton on November 6. The son of Iffraaj, who sports the colours of last year’s Guineas runner-up Bourbonaire, came from last on the home turn to charge home into fifth and will be suited stepping out to a mile. “I thought the run was ...

October 6, 2021

Baker pleased with Underwood hope

Quality stayer The Chosen One takes the next step in his build-up towards the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups, when he tackles the Gr.1 Underwood Stakes (1800m) at Sandown on Saturday. The Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman-trained entire is one of just five runners in the A$1 million feature, with the presence of emerging star Zaaki ($1.30 favourite) too daunting for many. While not expecting to upset the applecart, Baker, who cannot be in Melbourne due to COVID-19 restrictions, is keen to have a go ...

September 24, 2021

Danger Strykes at Whanganui

Lightly raced Cambridge visitor Danger Strykes confirmed she has big future ahead of her with a comprehensive victory in the Listed John Turkington Forestry Ltd Castletown Stakes (1200m) at Whanganui on Saturday. Handled confidently by rider Ryan Elliot, the Tony Pike-trained filly settled nicely on the outer behind a hot speed set up by race favourite Taoiseach. Angled into the clear at the 300m, Danger Strykes quickly dashed to the lead before holding out a late run from Ima Roca Bee to win by...

June 5, 2021

Mai Tai gets deserved black type victory

Progressive mare Mai Tai added another feather to her cap when she picked up her first victory at stakes level with a win in the Listed Manawatu ITM Anzac Mile (1600m) at Awapuni on Sunday. Sent out a warm favourite ($2.60) for the race, punters never had a moment of concern courtesy of a picture-perfect ride by Sam Collett, who collected her second black type victory for the weekend after taking out the Gr.2 Easter Handicap (1600m) at Ellerslie aboard Demonetization on Saturday. Collett made fu...

April 25, 2021

Easifar claims stakes win

Wentwood Grange bred and sold filly Easifar (NZ) (Pride of Dubai) landed black-type in the Listed Eureka Stud Princess Stakes (1630m) at Doomben on Saturday.  Ridden by Luke Dittman the Chris Waller-trained filly fumbled out of the gates from barrier one but managed to remain amongst the front runners before settling in fourth position on the rails.  Dittman got to work on her from the 400m mark and she duly obliged running down the leader Tycoon Evie to score by half-a-length on the l...

April 25, 2021

Kolding smashes A$6 million in stakes

Wentwood Grange graduate Kolding (NZ) (Ocean Park) smashed through the A$6 million in stakes mark with a gritty win in the Gr.1 All Aged Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on Saturday.  Kolding and Savatiano edged clear over the final 200m in a two-horse war and the Godolphin mare looked to get the better of the gutsy gelding before Kolding kicked back on the line to nab her by a short half-head. “I did think we were beaten and then I could just gradually see him coming and I was thinki...

April 25, 2021

Ellerslie win for Mai Tai

by Te Akau RacingIn training for the Hawkins’ family of Wentwood Grange, Mai Tai  (4 m Atlante – Tropical Punch, by Faltaat) justified her $1.90 tote support with an impressive victory in the Barfoot & Thompson 1400 on Easter Saturday at Ellerslie.An unlucky fifth on Derby Day last month at Ellerslie, the winner of four from nine showed her ability to quicken on Saturday as she launched from fifth with an irresistible finish, sprinting clear to win by three and a half lengths.“She was...

April 3, 2021

Ruakaka filly strengthens Oaks bid with thrilling victory

Lightly raced filly Spine Tingle sent shivers down the backs of plenty of her potential Gr.1 Al Basti Equiworld Dubai New Zealand Oaks (2400m) rivals with a stunning victory at New Plymouth on Saturday. Bred and raced by the Hawkins family under their Llanhennock Trust banner, the Super Easy three-year-old went into Saturday’s Listed Fasttrack Insurance Oaks Prelude (1800m) at New Plymouth with just two runs under her belt, including a last start victory over 1400m on her home track at Ruakaka...

February 6, 2021

Kermadec provides Karaka update

 VIDEO: Sabie Park parading as a yearling...

January 4, 2021

No time for Mai Tais as Karaka looms

COVID-19 hit plenty of racing plans when it closed the industry down in March, not least that of promising mare Mai Tai. Mai Tai was getting set for her second start following a fourth placing on debut when lockdown hit, forcing trainer Jamie Richards and owners Llanhennock Trust – made up of the Hawkins family from Wentwood Grange in Cambridge – to wait until the current season to get her career going. But she hasn’t disappointed, topping off a very good five months with victory in the St...

December 28, 2020

Cheers for Mai Tai at Ellerslie

Wentwood Grange-bred and owned mare Mai Tai delivered a great Christmas present in the Stella Artois Championship Final (1500m) at Ellerslie on Boxing Day.  “I’m really proud of Mai Tai, who has made a lot of progress recently,” trainer Jamie Richards said. “I was a little worried about her being back right-handed today, but she’s handling everything very professionally in this campaign.  “She’s very effective at what she does. “She’ll probably have a bit of a break n...

December 26, 2020

Dragon Storm takes out thrilling New Zealand Cup

Ruakaka raider Dragon Storm produced the performance of his life when he took out the Gr.3 Christchurch Casino New Zealand Cup (3200m) at Riccarton in a thrilling finish to the time-honoured event. The Chris Gibbs-trained six-year-old was well fancied in the race after a stunning five-length victory in his final lead-up run over 3000m.  By Gr.1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) winner Shocking out of two-time Gr.1 Auckland Cup (3200m) winner Prize Lady, his undoubted staying credentials strengthened hi...

November 14, 2020

Winning double for Wentwood graduates

Stephen Marsh posted a winning double at Te Aroha with a pair of Wentwood Grange-bred gallopers. Debutant Raggedy Doll picked up a cash bonus for her connections when winning the NZB Insurance Pearl Series Race (1200m). The four-year-old daughter of Hallowed Crown and Group One winner Miss Raggedy Ann had six trial starts on her record before her trip to the races and despite showing a lack of ringcraft, finished the best in a four horse field. “She has been a slow maturing filly and has alway...

November 10, 2020

The Chosen One a brave Cup fourth

New Zealand-trained stayer The Chosen One finished a gallant fourth in Tuesday’s Gr.1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) won by the Joseph O’Brien-trained Twilight Payment. O’Brien’s father Aidan again played second fiddle to his son, with Tiger Moth finishing runner-up, reminiscent of the 2017 Melbourne Cup, when Joseph’s Rekindling denied Aidan’s Johannes Vermeer. Perennial Cup placegetter Prince Of Arran finished third ahead of the Kiwi. Prepared by Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman, The Chose...

November 3, 2020

Bennett hoping for a Karaka day at Flemington

While Flying Start Syndications Director Cameron Bennett is disappointed he won’t be able to be on course to watch Let’s Karaka Deel in the Gr.1 Victoria Derby (2500m) at Flemington on Saturday, he is over the moon to have a strong contender in the race. The Ciaron Maher and David Eustace-trained colt is one of the form horses of the field, having won and placed twice in his four career starts, including a last-start runner-up performance in the Gr.3 Neds Classic (2000m) at Caulfield. “It ...

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